What is Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is a procedure to remove excess gum tissue and sometimes bone. This exposes more of the natural tooth structure, and treatment can be carried out for several different reasons.

Why Might I Need Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening may be appropriate in a couple of different situations. Some people simply have too much gum tissue covering up their teeth and need to have the levels adjusted to create a nicer smile. For others it will be necessary to remove some of the bone as well as gum tissue, lengthening the tooth so it looks more balanced. Afterwards the exposed tooth will need to be restored with a crown. Crown lengthening can also be a useful procedure if a tooth breaks off right at the gum line, or if the tooth is extensively decayed and there isn’t enough of the natural structure left to fully restore it. In this case the crown is lengthened through exposing more of the tooth underneath the gum line so it’s possible for the decay to be treated and the tooth restored with a crown.

What Is the Procedure for Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is normally be carried out under a local anesthetic, and small amounts of gum tissue can be easily removed through laser treatment. The length of treatment depends on the amount of gum tissue to be removed, and whether bone removal is required at the same time.

At Sugar Land Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we will carefully identify the amount of gum tissue or bone that needs removing, and these tissues will be gradually reshaped. Reshaping gum tissue is usually quite a quick procedure, particularly when using a laser as it immediately seals any small blood vessels so there is no need for sutures and very little discomfort or swelling. Treatment is likely to be a little longer if it’s necessary to remove bone.

Afterwards we will provide you with full instructions on how to look after the surgery site, and we may prescribe painkillers and a chlorhexidine mouth rinse, depending on the extent of surgery. It can be best to follow a soft diet for the first few days, until the area settles down.

Crown Lengthening Treatments 

Most crown lengthening treatments are extremely straightforward and patients typically experience little postoperative discomfort. Once the gum tissue has fully healed, you should be able to see the new shape of your gum tissue. If necessary it can be touched up slightly to give the perfect shape. If you need new crowns following the lengthening procedure, then it’s necessary to wait a few weeks before the crown can be made.

This is because the gum tissue shrinks slightly during healing, and it’s important that the margin of the crown is placed slightly below the new gum level to give good oral and aesthetic results. If the crown is placed too soon then the gum tissue might shrink back too much and the edge of the crown will be visible. There is no need to worry about how this tooth will look during this time, as we will protect the tooth with a temporary crown until you can have the proper crown made and fitted.